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Filings for bankruptcy continue to fall

May 3, 2018

Bankruptcy filings in federal courts continued their downward slide with more than 250,000 fewer cases filed for the year ending March 31, 2018, than were filed during the same period in 2014, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Overall, filings totaled 779,828 for the year ending March 31, 2018. This is down from the 1.04 million filed in the same period ending in 2014 — a decline of about 20 percent. The largest decrease came in Chapter 7 filings, down 31.3 percent from 2014 to 2018.

A national wave of bankruptcies that began in 2008 reached a peak in the year ending September 2010, when nearly 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed.

Within the 7th Circuit, bankruptcy filings dropped 3.9 percent from the year ending March 31, 2017 to the same period ending in 2018. The total number of cases fell from 94,081 to 90,421.

The leader in both the volume and percentage drop was the Northern District of Illinois. That federal court registered a 5.7 percent decline with the number of filings slumping from 43,987 for the year ending March 2017 to 41,488 for the year ending March 2018.

Indiana’s district courts were right behind the leader.

The Northern District of Indiana had the second-biggest decline with 5.5 percent fewer filings, falling from 9,647 for the year ending March 2017 to 9,121 for the same period ending in 2018. In addition, the Southern District of Indiana had the second-biggest caseload with 14,471 in March 2017 and 13,929 in March 2018.

For the year ending March 31, 2018, the counties with the most bankruptcy filings in the Northern Indiana District were Lake with 2,871 and Allen with 1,346. In the Southern Indiana District, Marion County outpaced all others with 4, 592 total filings.

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